Screening News Update: Investigation | Colorado Employers Easing Up on Pot | Drug Tests for Food Stamps

Screening News Update: Investigation | Colorado Employers Easing Up on Pot | Drug Tests for Food Stamps

By Jennifer Gladstone

  • Sitter Site Vows to Improve Screening
  • Colorado Employers Loosening Up on Pot
  • Drug Checks for Food?

Sitter Site Vows to Improve Screening

Millions of parents have looked to to find a babysitter or nanny, but an investigation by the Wall Street Journal discovered the company was actually doing very little vetting of caregivers. Over the years, at least 5 children have died while in the care of a sitter found through the site. One sitter had 2 DUIs and a felony battery charge on her record. Others had been convicted for prostitution, drug possession, child pornography and more. In the past, the company has answered questions about these “oversights” by blaming the background check system because there is no one centralized database that can find all criminal convictions. Now, after the latest investigation has, once again, shown how shoddy their screening is, the company claims to have unveiled a new set of policies. Those new policies include no longer allowing caregivers to apply for jobs until the company completes a “preliminary screening” consisting of multijurisdictional criminal databases and the National Sex Offender Public Website.

Colorado Employers Loosening Up on Pot

It’s been five years since Colorado legalized recreational marijuana. Now, a new study by the Employers Council, a Denver-based human resources organization, has found that 9% of employers are relaxing their testing for the drug. That might not sound like a big number, but right after legalization, 21% reported that they were going to beef-up their testing policies. This drop is purely in pre-employment testing. Most employers said they still test workers after accidents or injuries, most likely because doing so lowers their workers’ comp premiums. In addition to less testing, the survey found that employers are also reducing the consequences for those failing a drug test because of marijuana. While many used to insist on termination, now they are offering probation, treatment or rehabilitation. Some have no penalty at all.

Drug Checks for Food?

Lawmakers in Alabama have put forward a bill that would require those applying for food stamps to pass a drug test first. House Bill 3 would only apply if there is “reasonable suspicion” that someone seeking Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Benefits is under the influence of a drug. After two positive drug tests, benefits could be rescinded permanently. If a parent or guardian loses SNAP benefits, a third party can be designated to make sure the children get the food they need. Those who refuse to be tested would also lose their rights to get the aid. The bill is now with the Alabama House Judiciary Committee.

About the Author

Jennifer Gladstone

Jennifer Gladstone

Jennifer Gladstone is a news anchor and journalist with more than 20 years of experience in front of the camera. She's worked in several markets, large and small, and has performed nearly every task needed in a newsroom. As EBI’s Screening News Editor, she keeps EBI’s customers and blog subscribers up to date on the latest screening news and legislative alerts affecting companies of all sizes.

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